South America | Brazil | Northeast Brazil | Salvador da Bahia – We love Bahia
Hello again! Lyla and Mike reporting once again from the beautiful beaches of northeast atlantic coast of brazil. After about 12 hours and three buses, Lyla and I have arrived in the the town of Ilheus. We´re one block away from the beach, drinking juice, eating cheese bread and enjoying the lightening fast internet connection.
Anyways, we entered Bahia through the northern coast. It was quite interesting because our friends arranged a series of rides for us to get to Salvador. First a minibus to a small town, then a van to Maceio, and then the onibus to Salvador. We learned to negotiate the various transportation quite well, though it is still a pain in the ass to take backpacks from bus to bus. We stayed for a couple of days in Salvador. Though the pelourinho is still beatiful as it was 500 years ago, I found the city to be a bit more touristy this time. Of course when we tried to visit the museum, we hit a couple of walls because they were close until the next month.
Onwards, we decided to go to Lencois. As it happens, we missed the biggest event there because an international ecorace called ecomotion had just ended. The spaniards won. The race was 450 kilometers around the national park with kayaking, mountain bike, trekking, climbing, rappeling, blah blah blah. It must have been a great event, we got to know THE PHOTOGRAPHER in town named Calil and he shared the pictures with us. Well, we also got to know the only single engine pilot in town, IGOR. We also met one of the few firefighters, and most importantly the best cook in town who happens to be almost nine months pregnant.
Lencois is situated in the middle of various high table mountains, caves, clear streams, rivers, and great trails for hiking. It was like a dream come true for Mike because he´s been wanting to visit for a really long time. We made various trips to get to know the surroundings, especially one road between Lencois and Andarai. On our first day of arrival, we met two brazilians from Sao Paulo, Gilson and Eliane, who graciously took us to a beatiful waterfall called Rio Roncador on their brazilian made jeep Troller. We then hiked, a couple of days later, several hours to different waterfalls and circled back on the same road. We also took a fantastic horseback riding trip on the same road with some beautiful horses. (Mike: I have to say that it was one of the best horse trips I have ever taken because the horses were so awesome, can´t say the same for Lyla though. Lyla: The reason for this is that all Brazilian horsemen immediately come to the conclusion that if a couple signs up to go riding the man should ride the frisky horse and the woman should ride the geriatric horse. Thus, while Mike and Pedro [a nice but typically sexist man] galloped away, I ended up eating their dust and carrying my horse along in a slow, no, scratch that, we went at a negative pace. Mike and I have agreed that the next time we go riding in Brazil, I´ll switch horses with him at the last moment and prove to all Brazilian men that a woman can ride just as hard as a man! Phew, glad I got THAT off my chest. 😉 Back to Mike, now.
Anyways, words just don´t describe the beauty of Chapada which reminds me of the US southwest, but with lush jungle and much more waterfalls and wildlife. Also words can´t describe the hospitality we have experienced in Chapada as we have made some friends that have convinced us that we should move to chapada, well, almost, because otherwise we would have stayed there and never come back!
Mike and Lyla